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Australian Legislation

CTH Stat Int 

Statutory Interpretation

In Australia s15AB(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) sets out the various extrinsic aids which may assist with the legislative interpretation of an Act. Extrinsic materials are relied on and will often be referred to, these are permissible to assist with interpreting an Act and include:

  • Parliamentary debates on the bill (Hansard), in particular, the second reading speeches in both the House of Representatives and the Senate
  • The Bill that has led to the Act or amended the Act, and all subsequent amendments to the Bill
  • Explanatory Memorandum which accompanies the Bill
  • Journals of the Senate and the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives
  • Committee Reports resulting from the debates in Parliament
  • Reports by Royal Commissions, Law Reform Commissions, committees of inquiry or other similar bodies
  • Dictionaries both legal and non legal
  • Encyclopeadias 

For more information on interpretation or intent of legislation, see the below books:


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